Hume Blake Cronyn Jr., OC (July 18, 1911 – June 15, 2003) was a Canadian actor of stage and screen, who enjoyed a long career, often appearing professionally alongside Jessica Tandy, his wife of over fifty years.
Hume Blake Cronyn Jr.
July 18, 1911
London, Ontario, Canada
|Died||June 15, 2003 (aged 91)|
Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.
(m. 1934; div. 1936)
(m. 1942; her death 1994)
Susan Cooper (m. 1996)
|Awards||Officer of the Order of Canada|
Cronyn, one of five children, was born in London, Ontario, Canada. His father, Hume Blake Cronyn, Sr., was a businessman and a Member of Parliament for London (after whom the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory at the University of Western Ontario and asteroid (12050) Humecronyn are named). His mother, Frances Amelia (née Labatt), was an heiress of the brewing company of the same name. His paternal grandfather, Verschoyle Cronyn, was the son of the Right Reverend Benjamin Cronyn, an Anglican cleric of the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy, who served as first bishop of the Anglican diocese of Huron and founded Huron College, from which grew the University of Western Ontario.
His great-uncle, Benjamin, Jr., was both a prominent citizen and early mayor of London, Ontario, but was later indicted for fraud and fled to Vermont; during his tenure in London he built a mansion called Oakwood, which currently serves as the head office of the Info-Tech Research Group. Cronyn was also a cousin of Canadian-born theater producer, Robert Whitehead, and a first cousin of the Canadian-British artist Hugh Verschoyle Cronyn GM (1905–1996).
Cronyn was the first Elmwood School boarder in Ottawa (at the time Elmwood was called Rockliffe Preparatory School) and boarded at Elmwood between 1917 and 1921. After leaving Elmwood, Cronyn went to Ridley College in St. Catharines, and McGill University in Montreal, where he became a member of The Kappa Alpha Society. Early in life, Cronyn was an amateur featherweight boxer, having the skills to be nominated for Canada's 1932 Olympic Boxing team.
Subsequent to graduating from Ridley College, Cronyn switched majors, from pre-law to drama, while attending McGill University, and continued his acting studies thereafter, under Max Reinhardt and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1934, the same year he joined The Lambs, he made his Broadway debut as a janitor in Hipper's Holiday and became known for his versatility, playing a number of different roles on stage. He won a Drama Desk Special Award in 1986. In 1990, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
His first Hollywood film was Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943). He later appeared in Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944) and worked on the screenplays of Rope (1948) and Under Capricorn (1949). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Seventh Cross (1944) and won a Tony Award for his performance as Polonius opposite Richard Burton's Hamlet (1964). Cronyn bought the screenplay What Nancy Wanted from Norma Barzman, who was later blacklisted with her husband Ben Barzman, with the idea of producing the film and starring Tandy. However, he sold the screenplay to RKO which later filmed it as The Locket (1946). Cronyn also made appearances in television, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Kill With Kindness" (1956) and Hawaii Five-O episodes "Over Fifty, Steal" (1970) and "Odd Man In" (1971).
Cronyn had an association with the Stratford Festival as a member of both the acting company and its board of governors. He played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice in 1976, and debuted his play Foxfire in 1980. The play would later move to Broadway (and won Tandy a Best Actress Tony award), and a film version was made in 1987.
Cronyn's first marriage was to the philanthropist Emily Woodruff in late 1934 or early 1935. They shared a "lavender marriage," and never lived together. Woodruff insisted that the marriage remain a secret because of her lesbian relationships. They quietly divorced in 1936.
Cronyn married the actress Jessica Tandy in 1942, and appeared with her in many of their more memorable dramatic stage, film and television outings, including The Green Years (1946), The Seventh Cross (1944), The Gin Game (1977), Foxfire (1982), Cocoon (1985), *batteries not included (1987), Cocoon: The Return (1988), and Camilla (1994).
The couple starred in a short-lived (1953–1954) radio series, The Marriage (based on their earlier Broadway play, The Fourposter), playing New York attorney Ben Marriott and his wife, former fashion buyer Liz, struggling with her switch to domestic life and their raising an awkward teenage daughter (future soap opera star Denise Alexander). The show was scheduled to move from radio to television, with Cronyn producing as well as acting in the show. However, Tandy suffered a miscarriage and the show's debut was delayed a week. The series premiered in July 1954 to "warm and enthusiastic reviews"; eight episodes were aired.
The couple had a daughter, Tandy, and a son, Christopher. Cronyn and Tandy lived in the Bahamas, then at a lakeside estate in Pound Ridge, New York, and, finally, in Easton, Connecticut. Jessica Tandy died in 1994, aged 85, from ovarian cancer.
After he was widowed, Cronyn married author/playwright Susan Cooper (with whom he had co-written Foxfire) in July 1996. His 1991 autobiography was titled A Terrible Liar (ISBN 0-688-12844-0). He died on June 15, 2003 from prostate cancer, one month before his 92nd birthday.
In 1979, Cronyn was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. On July 11, 1988 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, giving him the Post Nominal Letters "OC" for Life.
Cronyn was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 1999. He also received the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in 1992 and the Canadian version of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
|1943||Shadow of a Doubt||Herbie Hawkins|
|1943||Phantom of the Opera||Gerard|
|1943||The Cross of Lorraine||Duval|
|1944||Lifeboat||Stanley 'Sparks' Garrett|
|1944||The Seventh Cross||Paul Roeder||Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1944||Blonde Fever||Diner at Inn||Uncredited|
|1945||Main Street After Dark||Keller|
|1945||Ziegfeld Follies||Monty||('A Sweepstakes Ticket')|
|1945||The Sailor Takes a Wife||Freddie Potts|
|1946||A Letter for Evie||John Phineas McPherson|
|1946||The Green Years||Papa Leckie|
|1946||The Postman Always Rings Twice||Arthur Keats|
|1946||The Secret Heart||Dinner Party Guest||Voice, Uncredited|
|1947||The Beginning or the End||Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer|
|1947||Brute Force||Capt. Munsey|
|1948||The Bride Goes Wild||John McGrath|
|1949||Top o' the Morning||Hughie Devine|
|1951||People Will Talk||Prof. Rodney Elwell|
|1956||Crowded Paradise||George Heath|
|1960||Sunrise at Campobello||Louis Howe|
|1964||Richard Burton's Hamlet||Polonius|
|1969||The Arrangement||Arthur Houghton|
|1969||Gaily, Gaily||Tom Grogan|
|1970||There Was a Crooked Man...||Dudley Whinner|
|1974||The Parallax View||Bill Rintels|
|1981||Honky Tonk Freeway||Sherm|
|1982||The World According to Garp||Mr. Fields|
|1985||Brewster's Millions||Rupert Horn|
|1985||Cocoon||Joe Finley||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor|
|1987||*batteries not included||Frank Riley|
|1988||Cocoon: The Return||Joe Finley||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor|
|1993||The Pelican Brief||Justice Rosenberg|
|1996||Marvin's Room||Marvin||Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture|
|2001||Off Season||Sam Clausner|
|1949||The Ford Theatre Hour||Hugo Barnstead||Episode: "Once Sunday Afternoon"|
|1949||Suspense||Dr. Violet||Episode: "Dr. Violet"|
|1950||The Ford Theatre Hour||Harry Binion||Episode: "Room Service"|
|1950||Pulitzer Prize Playhouse||Charles Ponzi||Episode: "The Ponzi Story"|
|1950||The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse||N/A||Episode: "The Reluctant Landlord"|
|1953||Omnibus||Bartender||Episode: "Glory in the Flower"|
|1954||The Motorola Television Hour||Anthony Updyke||Episode: "The Family Man"|
|1954||The Marriage||Ben Marriott||8 episodes|
|1955||Producers' Showcase||Michael||Episode: "The Fourposter"|
|1955||Omnibus||Harold 'Mitch' Mitchell||Episode: "Advice to Bathers"|
|1955||The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse||Ben Marriott||Episode: "Christmas 'til Closing"|
|1956||The United States Steel Hour||Priam Farll||Episode: "The Great Adventure"|
|1956||Climax!||Reverend Mr. Muldoon||Episode: "The Fifth Wheel"|
|1956||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Fitzhugh Oldham||Episode: "Kill with Kindness"|
|1958||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Henry Daw||Episode: "The Impromptu Murder"|
|1959||The Moon and Sixpence||Dirk Stroeve||Television film|
|1959||A Doll's House||Nils Krogstad||Television film|
|1960||Juno and the Paycock||N/A||Television film|
|1970–1971||Hawaii Five-O||Lewis Avery Filer||2 episodes|
|1981||The Gin Game||Weller Martin||Television film|
|1987||Foxfire||Hector Nations||Television film|
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1989||Day One||James F. Byrnes||Television film|
|1989||Age-Old Friends||John Cooper||Television film|
CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1991||Christmas on Division Street||Cleveland Meriwether||Television film|
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1992||Broadway Bound||Ben||Television film|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|1993||To Dance with the White Dog||Robert Samuel Peek||Television film|
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1995||People: A Musical Celebration Of Diversity||Grandpa (voice)||Television film|
|1997||12 Angry Men||Juror #9||Television film|
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1997||Alone||John Webb||Television film|
|1998||Seasons of Love||Lonzo||Television film|
|1999||Sea People||Mr. John McRae||Television film|
|1999||Santa and Pete||Saint Nick||Television film|
|2000||Yesterday's Children||Old Sunny Sutton||Television film|
|1946||Suspense||The One Who Got Away|
|1952||Philip Morris Playhouse||One Sunday Afternoon|
Age-Old Friends is a 1989 dramatic television film starring Hume Cronyn and Vincent Gardenia, who won Primetime Emmy Awards for their performances. It was written by Bob Larbey, based on his play A Month of Sundays, and directed by Allan Kroeker.Benjamin Cronyn
Benjamin Cronyn (11 July 1802 – 21 September 1871) was the first bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Huron.
Cronyn was born in Kilkenny, Ireland. A member of the prominent Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy Cronyn family, and a relative of Robert Whitehead, he emigrated to Canada in 1832. He was posted to London, Ontario, where he completed the church building started by his predecessor. In 1844 he relocated the church to a better site, now occupied by St Paul's Cathedral. When the new Diocese of Huron was created in 1857 he was elected its first bishop and travelled to London, UK to be consecrated, the last Canadian bishop required to go to Britain to do so.
A noted Low Church cleric, he distrusted what he considered to be the romanizing tendencies of Toronto's Trinity College, in 1863, he founded Huron University College which in 1908 grew into the secularised University of Western Ontario.
He died in London, Ontario in 1871. He had married in Ireland Margaret Ann Bickerstaff of Lislea, Longford with whom he had seven children. On her death he was remarried to Martha Collins. He was father to Benjamin Cronyn, Jr. a former mayor of London, Ontario. He was the father-in-law of Edward Blake, Premier of Ontario and grandfather of politician Hume Cronyn, Sr. and great-grandfather of actor Hume Cronyn, Jr. and artist Hugh Verschoyle Cronyn GM.
In 1957, a biography, entitled Benjamin Cronyn: First Bishop of Huron, was written by The Very Reverend Alfred Henchman Crowfoot and was published by The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Huron.Brute Force (1947 film)
Brute Force is a 1947 American crime film noir directed by Jules Dassin, from a screenplay by Richard Brooks with cinematography by William H. Daniels. It stars Burt Lancaster, Hume Cronyn and Charles Bickford.This was among several noir films made by Dassin during the postwar period. The others were Thieves' Highway, Night and the City and The Naked City.Conrack
Conrack is a 1974 American drama film based on the 1972 autobiographical book The Water Is Wide by Pat Conroy, directed by Martin Ritt and starring Jon Voight in the title role, alongside Paul Winfield, Madge Sinclair, Hume Cronyn and Antonio Fargas. The film was released by 20th Century Fox on March 15, 1974.
The novel was remade as The Water Is Wide (2006 film), a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie starring Jeff Hephner and Alfre Woodard.Cronyn
Cronyn may refer to:
Benjamin Cronyn (1802–1871), the first bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Huron
Hume Cronyn, OC (1911–2003), Canadian actor of stage and screen
Hume Cronyn (politician) (1864–1933), Canadian politician and lawyerCrowded Paradise
Crowded Paradise is a 1956 film starring Hume Cronyn and Nancy Kelly. The movie was directed by Fred Pressburger.Foxfire (1987 film)
Foxfire is a 1987 Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-television drama film starring Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn and John Denver, based on the play of the same name. The movie aired on CBS on December 13, 1987. Tandy won an Emmy Award for her performance.Foxfire (play)
Foxfire is a play with songs, book by Susan Cooper, Hume Cronyn, music by Jonathan Brielle (Holtzman) and lyrics by Susan Cooper, Hume Cronyn, and Jonathan Brielle. The show was based on the Foxfire books, about Appalachian culture and traditions in north Georgia and the struggle to keep the traditions alive. The play was first produced at the Stratford Festival in 1980. The 1982 Broadway production starred Jessica Tandy, who won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance. It costarred Hume Cronyn as well as Keith Carradine who played a country music performer selling out the old traditions to make a buck. Carradine sang most of the songs in the show and most notable were the close of Act 1, "My Feet Took T' Walkin'." It was later adapted as a TV movie, where Tandy played the same role and won an Emmy Award. Carradine was replaced with John Denver for the Hallmark movie. Other songs in the show included: "Sweet Talker," "Dear Lord," "Young Lady Take A Warning," and "Red Ear."Gaily, Gaily
Gaily, Gaily (released in the United Kingdom as Chicago, Chicago) is a 1969 American comedy film directed by Norman Jewison. It is based on the autobiographical novel by Ben Hecht and stars Beau Bridges, Brian Keith, George Kennedy, Hume Cronyn and Melina Mercouri.Hume Cronyn (politician)
Hume Blake Cronyn (August 28, 1864 – June 19, 1933) was a Canadian politician and lawyer.
Born in London, Canada West, the son of Verschoyle Cronyn (who was the son of Benjamin Cronyn) and Sophia Eliza Blake (who was the daughter of William Hume Blake), Cronyn was educated at Dr. Tassie's grammar school in Galt, Ontario and at the University of Toronto where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Law degree in 1889. He was called to the Ontario bar in 1889 and practised law in London. In 1907 he was appointed general manager of The Huron and Erie Mortgage Corporation. He was also a General Manager of the Canada Trust Company and a Director of the Mutual Life Assurance Company of Canada.While at the University of Toronto he enlisted in The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada and served during the North-West Rebellion of 1885 and fought in the Battle of Cut Knife. Afterwards he joined the 7th Fusiliers, and served as Major from 1899 to 1907.He was elected to the House of Commons as a Unionist in the riding of London in the 1917 election.
An Anglican, he married Frances Amelia Labatt, second daughter of John Labatt, in 1892. He had three sons and two daughters, including Hume Cronyn the actor.Asteroid (12050) Humecronyn is named in his honour.
The Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory at The University of Western Ontario was built in his memory by his wife Frances Amelia Labatt.Impulse (1984 film)
Impulse is a 1984 American science fiction thriller film starring Tim Matheson, Meg Tilly and Hume Cronyn.Jessica Tandy
Jessica Tandy (born Jessie Alice Tandy; 7 June 1909 – 11 September 1994) was an English-American stage and film actress best known for her Academy Award winning performance in the film Driving Miss Daisy. Tandy appeared in over 100 stage productions and had more than 60 roles in film and TV.Born in London to Jessie Helen Horspool and commercial traveller Harry Tandy, she was only 18 when she made her professional debut on the London stage in 1927. During the 1930s, she appeared in a large number of plays in London's West End, playing roles such as Ophelia (opposite John Gielgud's legendary Hamlet) and Katherine (opposite Laurence Olivier's Henry V).During this period, she also worked in a number of British films. Following the end of her marriage to the British actor Jack Hawkins, she moved to New York in 1940, where she met Canadian actor Hume Cronyn. He became her second husband and frequent partner on stage and screen.
She received the Tony Award for best performance by a Leading Actress in A Play for her performance as Blanche DuBois in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948. Tandy shared the prize with Katharine Cornell (who won for the female lead in Antony and Cleopatra) and Judith Anderson (for the latter's portrayal of Medea) in a three-way tie for the award. Over the following three decades, her career continued sporadically and included a supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's horror film, The Birds (1963), and a Tony Award-winning performance in The Gin Game (1977, playing in the two-hander play opposite Hume Cronyn). Along with Cronyn, she was a member of the original acting company of the Guthrie Theater.In the mid-1980s she had a career revival. She appeared with Cronyn in the Broadway production of Foxfire in 1983 and its television adaptation four years later, winning both a Tony Award and an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Annie Nations. During these years, she appeared in films such as Cocoon (1985), also with Cronyn.She became the oldest actress to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Driving Miss Daisy (1989), for which she also won a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Fried Green Tomatoes (1991). At the height of her success, she was named as one of People's "50 Most Beautiful People". She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1990, and continued working until shortly before her death.Main Street After Dark
Main Street After Dark is a 1945 American drama film directed by Edward L. Cahn and written by John C. Higgins and Karl Kamb. The film stars Edward Arnold, Selena Royle, Tom Trout, Audrey Totter, Dan Duryea, Hume Cronyn and Dorothy Morris. The film was released on January 12, 1945, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.Marvin's Room (film)
Marvin's Room is a 1996 American drama film directed by Jerry Zaks. The script was written by John Guare and based on the play of the same name by Scott McPherson, who died in 1992. McPherson had completed a screenplay for a film version before he died; however Guare was hired to update it when the film eventually started production years later.It stars Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Hume Cronyn, Gwen Verdon, Hal Scardino and Dan Hedaya. Original music for the film was composed by Rachel Portman. Carly Simon wrote and performed the theme song "Two Little Sisters", with Meryl Streep adding background vocals.People Will Talk
People Will Talk is a 1951 romantic comedy/drama film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck from a screenplay by Mankiewicz, based on the German play by Curt Goetz, which had been made into a movie in Germany (Doctor Praetorius, 1950). Released by Twentieth Century Fox, the film stars Cary Grant and Jeanne Crain, with supporting performances by Hume Cronyn, Finlay Currie, Walter Slezak, and Sidney Blackmer.
The film was nominated for the Writers Guild of America screen Award for Best Written American Comedy (Joseph L. Mankiewicz).The Fourposter
The Fourposter is a 1951 play written by Jan de Hartog. The two-character story spans thirty-five years, from 1890 to 1925, as it focuses on the trials and tribulations, laughters and sorrows, and hopes and disappointments experienced by Agnes and Michael throughout their marriage. The set consists solely of their bedroom, dominated by the large fourposter bed in the center of the room. Its simple set and small cast have made it a popular choice for amateur theatrical groups.
Among the couple's milestones are the consummation of their marriage, the birth of their first child, Michael's success as a writer, his extramarital affair, their daughter's wedding, and their preparations to move to smaller quarters and pass their home on to another newlywed couple.
The Broadway production, directed by José Ferrer, opened on October 24, 1951, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, later moving to the John Golden to complete its 632-performance run. Original cast Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy later were replaced first by Burgess Meredith and Betty Field and then Romney Brent and Sylvia Sidney. It received Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Director.
Cronyn and Tandy recreated their roles for a July 25, 1955, telecast live on the NBC anthology series Producers' Showcase.The Green Years (film)
The Green Years is a 1946 American drama film featuring Charles Coburn, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler and Hume Cronyn. It was adapted by Robert Ardrey from A. J. Cronin's novel of the same name. It tells the story of the coming-of-age of an Irish orphan in Scotland and was directed by Victor Saville.The Honeys (play)
The Honeys is a play written by Roald Dahl. It toured Boston, Philadelphia and New Haven before opening on Broadway on 28 April 1955. It starred Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, and Dorothy Stickney. Although it received some good notices, it ran for only 36 performances. Its short run, combined with the difficulties that Dahl had with the play's director, convinced Dahl to stick to short–story writing. The play is based on some of the stories from Someone Like You and revolves around two sisters who decide to murder their husbands. As of 2018, the text of the play has not been published.The Seventh Cross (film)
The Seventh Cross is a 1944 drama film, set in Nazi Germany, starring Spencer Tracy as a prisoner who escaped from a concentration camp. The story chronicles how he interacts with ordinary Germans, and gradually sheds his cynical view of humanity.
The film co-starred Hume Cronyn, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. It was the first film in which Cronyn appeared with his wife Jessica Tandy, and was among the first feature films directed by Fred Zinnemann.
The movie was adapted from the novel of the same name by the German refugee writer Anna Seghers. Produced in the midst of the Second World War, it was one of the few films made during the war to deal with the existence of Nazi concentration camps.
Awards for Hume Cronyn